• June 22, 2011
en

Between Homes

After an eigh­teen-month mis­sion in India, Dancer & Designer Renee Kurz spent more than a month with us in our Brooklyn Center. Here is her account of her ’Between Homes Experience’, as she puts it.

One month after I was home in Arkansas… from my home in India… I returned to my home in New York. And the month and a half I spent with my Brooklyn Heart’s Home family com­forted my heart with the truth that I will forever have a home within Heart’s Home. A home whose door they assure me is always open… with a wel­come that calms the storm within a tran­si­tion full of tender mourning for the life I had dis­cov­ered in mis­sion and now the realm of pos­si­bil­i­ties for the end­less “what’s next?” ques­tions. It’s about going from an aware­ness of standing at the edge of my life, the finality of my life, in a con­text that always led me into the mys­tery and meaning… back, but really a for­ward back, into the familiar unknown reality of home. Proving to be almost even more chal­lenging than when I arrived in India… because now my eyes have changed and the cri­teria by which I want to live has been trans­formed.

How easy it is to return to a com­pla­cency that kills the mys­tery, or fogs my eyes from regarding His pres­ence among us here, in a place that I’ve seen before; a place that does not have the firefly twin­kling trees or the ropes of scented jas­mine buds… the flocking to me of bright eyed chil­dren in the street or the con­tem­pla­tive grand­mother awaiting my passing by. The mis­sion is filled with many spe­cial graces that enlarges the eye of the soul, and this enlarging I believe is allowed then, to serve me now. My time in Heart’s Home Brooklyn was a gift to con­tinue the teaching of my heart, so that I may see the clus­ters of light in the dark and the cry within the smiles of my people, my family, and my friends. Discovering little by little how to con­tinue living the mis­sion of com­pas­sion immersed within the cul­ture of dance and design. Discoveries that occurred in the simple acts of meeting friends for coffee, vis­iting the nursing home, taking dance classes, sewing clothes, praying with the com­mu­nity, wel­coming vis­i­tors, and sharing about my mis­sion. And the biggest dis­covery: unity within all of who I am does not arrive out of my willing it nor out of my own efforts— it is given. But I must be awake to receive the gift.

I arrived in Brooklyn at the begin­ning of May, right in the midst of the orga­nizing and putting on of the annual Heart’s Home fundraising gala. Preparing table décor, proof-reading speeches, making my dress… loading the van, set­ting the tables, folding the nap­kins… turning the National Bohemian Hall on the Upper East Side of Manhattan into a space with demon­strates our efforts to create a home for everyone’s heart. It was a very spe­cial moment for me to wit­ness the expan­sion and growth of Heart’s Home USA; I was full of immense grat­i­tude to be a part of such a great thing. I, along with many pre­sent, real­ized fur­ther or even for the first time how much I need the friend­ship of Heart’s Home in my life. Hearing the words of the artist Sean Scully say in receiving the Compassion Award that “We do the same thing”… both striving to re-humanize a cul­ture that devalues the dig­nity of human life. Re-human­izing through his eye of sim­plicity and beauty and purity of line; through the way he lives his life. I want my art to live out of this same gaze of com­pas­sion.

Renee K.

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